I lived and volunteered in rural Uganda (East Africa) for 3 months.
In Kampala and most of the big cities including Entebbe, Jinja and
Lira, western clothes including jeans and t-shirts are completely
acceptable. Tank tops are acceptable, but try to stay away from
shorts. Most Ugandans don't wear them. Whenever possible, especially
in the smaller cities, wear long skirts. Most of the women in Uganda
wear skirts. Also try to stay modest as much as possible. Most places
in Uganda are pretty laid back and most types of clothing are acceptable.
I would stay away from jeans in the smaller cities though. You will
get alot of stares. When traveling in the north, dress very conservatively.
It is a highly Muslim area and can be quite dangerous.
Allison, Salt Lake City, Utah (2007)
United Arab Emirates
Although Dubai is one of the more progressive Emirates, how you
are welcomed by the population will depend on how you dress - don't
show any skin you don't want stared at - I suggest long skirts and
covering of the shoulders - bathing suits in resorts and on beaches
Barb, Belleville, Canada
When travelling in the U.A.E., try and wear all cotton in the months
of June to September. It is very humid and hot here during these
months. Shorts are acceptable but make sure that they are not too
short or you will be harassed.
Lynda, Dubai, UAE
I lived in the United Arab Emirate for 2 years. It is not necessary
to wear a veil, as it is in Saudi, however, you should respect the
Muslim culture and cover your arms and legs. It is almost always
very hot and humid there. Wear long skirts in cotton or linen, and
don't wear anything tight fitting. Natural fibers and sandals definitely
work best. Be aware that if you do dress "provocatively" you may
get pinched and patted in the markets. When I was there, people
were always friendly to me, and it is a very safe country.
Lisa, Vancouver, Canada
As the Public Relations Manager of a hotel that welcomes both business
and leisure travellers in Abu Dhabi,UAE, I am sending along culturally-correct
clothing hints for women. Dress code in UAE: You are allowed to
dress the way you like, but you will attract less attention if your
dress or shirt is not sleeveless, nor stretch and you don't wear
shorts or mini skirts.
Elise Sarkis-Talj, Sheraton Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom see also:
Don't bother to take much. Everywhere in the UK has second hand
stores if you find you've forgotten something. The only exception
is underwear. I take as many pairs as possible because they take
so little space.
Andrea, Calgary, Canada
When travelling to England, Wales or Ireland, I found that two
pairs of slacks, three turtlenecks, two sweaters, a windbreaker
jacket, two pairs of shoes, gloves, scarf and nightgown were plenty
for a 14-day trip in early May. If I had wanted to attend a dressy
affair I would have added a black skirt and jacket, plus dressy
shoes. On our trip this was not necessary since we were too tired
at the end of the day for night life.Elaine, Orlando, USA
I was visiting Albuquerque in late July. Being high in the mountains,
the temperatures only reached the high 80s while I was there, but
as this is much warmer than back home I felt shorts and tank tops
were appropriate. I discovered on the first day that this dress
attracts much unwanted attention, which can be avoided by dressing
more conservatively. I had much fewer problems in long sleeves and
long pants while in New Mexico.
Rachel, Gatineau, Canada
I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Many people think that our climate
here is like (say) Phoenix. Wrong: we're at 7000 ft. Although days
can get hot in the summer (90's), it always drops about 30 degrees
at night and takes several hours to warm up in the morning. Also,
July and August are our "monsoon" season, with brief but often violent
thunderstorms in the afternoons. Spring is highly changeable (it
can go from a blizzard to 70-degree weather in an hour), winter
is cold but fairly dry and sunny, and fall is the nicest time of
year, although still cool at night. The "layered look" is recommended.
Always bring a jacket or sweater, even in midsummer. An umbrella
or poncho is useful too. Downtown Santa Fe is best seen on foot,
so bring walking shoes or sturdy sandals (the pavement tends to
be uneven). Don't go to the opera or a concert in Reeboks and nylon
jogging suits unless you want to be sneered at by the locals ("nice"
pants, sandals, and a simple dressy blouse are fine). If you plan
to visit the pueblos (especially on feast days), dress modestly
-- bare midriffs and very-high cut shorts are not acceptable. And,
in general, business people dress fairly conservatively, so if you're
here on business a suit is appropriate (but flat shoes are fine,
and more practical)
Paula, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
When visiting San Diego avoid neon bright clothing and fanny packs.
The city is very laid back but certain things just scream "tourist."
And, remember that it's a port city so avoid really skimpy clothes
in the Gaslamp Quarter unless you want to be followed by packs of
Jennifer, San Diego,USA
New York City
I've lived in NYC my whole life basically, and one of the biggest
signs that scream "I'm a tourist" is wearing one of those
'I Love NY' t-shirts. Really, it's only the tourists who wear those.
You'll probably never see someone wearing that shirt if they're
not a tourist. Since there are so many different cultures represented
in New York City, one can wear most anything.
Another thing is, during the summer months, especially late July
and August, NYC can get very, very hot and humid. That said, you
should probably pack clothes in light colors (like whites, yellows,
cream, and the like), natural fabrics (such as cotton), shorts,
sun dresses, and skirts. However, since it is so hot, most stores,
movie theatres, and people's homes are air-conditioned, so it might
be a good idea to also bring a sweater or light jacket.
If you're visiting during the winter months, it can get very cold,
so bring sweaters, thick coats, and long sleeve shirts. Also, even
though it's not snowing all the time, there can still be one or
two heavy snow storms, especially during late January and February.
That said, you should probably leave the stiletto shoes at home.
Make sure to bring some good boots that can handle slushy, icy,
snowy, and salt-covered sidewalks.
Mya, NYC, USA
When travelling in New York City in the winter months it is essential
to have a decent warm and attractive looking coat to avoid looking
like a tourist and to keep the chill away. Walk with an attitude,
so as not to attract attention and do not look upwards at the tall
buildings. One of my NYC friends said, that way you don't look like
a tourist. When looking for the great shopping in NYC instead of
bringing out the map in full view of the whole street just follow
the best dressed lady you can find and she'll take you right there
on her heels! Wearing joggers is a no no in NYC as their attire
is immaculate (p.s. this city has the most gorgeous dressed men
I have ever seen).
Christine, Sydney, Australia
Arizona is a very varied state. The first part of my clothing
advice pertains to the "deserty" parts of the state. For the daytime,
especially in summer, light, loose, comfortable, breathing clothing
is best, preferably in light colors. Believe it or not, covering
up a lot of skin surface in something light and loose will keep
you cooler than if you wear something like shorts and a tank top.
You will need to either bring sunscreen or buy some here; minimum
SPF 15 is recommended. A wide-brimmed hat is somewhat common, and
recommended even if no one else is wearing one.
Deserts cool off very quickly at night; even in the summer you
will probably need a light jacket if you will be out at night.
For the mountainous country, temperatures will range up to twenty
degrees F. cooler than the deserts -- Take that into consideration;
this also goes for the Grand Canyon -- It can be cold there, even
in the middle of summer. Also, if you are traveling outside the
cities, heels, open-toed shoes, and shorts/skirts are not recommended
-- the ground can be very rough.
Mostly, Arizona is a fairly casual state. You don't really need
a lot of formal clothing, unless you are planning on attending a
business function or a society event. Mostly, relax, be a bit careful
of the sun, and have fun -- It's an incredibly beautiful place.
Diane, Phoenix, USA
For visits to San Francisco, whatever the time of year, make sure
you have a variety of clothes to layer - . the key to comfortable
San Francisco dressing is layering. Even on a warm "summer" day
its wise to bring a sweater along, especially if you are going out
in the evening. The fog can come in fast and is very chilly! While
San Francisco can be almost "U.K." in temperature, surrounding areas
to the south and east can be much warmer, so you may need shorts
and tank tops as well as sweaters and pants if you are going to
be roaming around the Bay Area.
Brenna, San Francisco
Just a word of advice for female visitors to Texas. In the summer
months we share Mexico's climate. This means that lightweight and
light-colored cotton clothing works best. A wide-brimmed hat gives
shelter from the unremitting sun; a light long-sleeved jacket is
nice for protection from frigid air-conditioning (movie theaters
are especially cold.) Expect daily rain in Houston -- heavy tropical
rain (umbrella required). You can get away with wearing jeans and
a nice blouse almost anywhere in Austin, but other cities will require
more dressing up for entrance to the "better" places. Rural areas
can be very conservative, so dress accordingly.
Marilyn, Texas, USA
I travelled in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas. When travelling here
in the summer months the wind can definitely pick up, so have a
pair of sunglasses to ward off flying sand/dust. Light clothes are
a must, but in Mesa Verde National Park, never wear things that
can flap up! (It's windy) Always carry water, even if you're not
a big water-drinker.
Emily-Anne, Port Alberni, BC, Canada
I travelled to New York City. The Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller
Center is a delightful place for visitors. No place is nicer to
view the sunset. But THEY HAVE A DRESS CODE! I'm not sure of all
the restrictions but - you may not wear Birkenstocks or similar
sandals. You may not wear anything that resembles jeans, including
nice neat black expensive ones. Men must wear jackets and, I believe,
Clare, Rhode Island, United States
Appropriate clothing varies greatly within the US. Each region
of the country has different norms. I grew up in Baltimore and am
attending college outside of Washington, DC. Although these cities
are less than an hour apart, the way people dress is very different.
DC is very conservative. However, it is probably impossible for
you to not look like a tourist. The best thing to do, as everything
in the DC area is very expensive, is bring black or earth toned
clothing that is attractive and sensible (neon fanny packs are not
an option) and learn to scope out the latest styles while you ride
the metro. Up in Baltimore things are very different. On the street
anything goes, so long as its not too bright a color. You can go
into churches, museums, cemetaries, etc. in shorts if you like but
you really shouldn't.
Rachel, Washington, DC, USA